To the Editor:
It might surprise our state legislators to learn that family caregivers provide the bulk of the support that keeps their older loved ones living independently, at home, and out of costly, taxpayer-supported institutional care. As such, legislators should do everything they can to support the services family caregivers provide.
The CARE Act (S676/A1323), a bill the State Senate is supporting for inclusion in the new state budget, would be a good start. There is currently no law in New York State requiring hospitals to demonstrate aftercare to family caregivers to make sure they know what they will need to do once they and their loved ones get home.
The CARE Act would fix this by ensuring that hospitals offer designated family caregivers demonstrations of these types of tasks, such as changing bandages correctly or providing the right dose of medicine. This instruction could mean the difference between a full recovery and a trip back the hospital for your loved one.
All of our legislators and the Governor should make sure the CARE Act is part of this year’s final state budget!
Chris Widelo, Associate State Director
AARP New York